Once again there’s turmoil in the cat advocacy world, this time coming out of North Carolina. The whole situation brings into question as to whether shelters should do background checks on the rescues who pull cats from them. I’ll be as brief as possible, but will list several links following this article so the readers can get more of an idea of the big picture.
On January 16 the Salisbury Post reported two of the rescues who pull from Rowan County were banned on December 31, 2015. County Manager Aaron Church confirmed to the Salisbury Post that Jennifer Frasier, owner of Purfect Purbaby Rescue and her father Craig Gordon, owner of Carolina Sanctuary and Rescue have been banned from Rowan County Animal Shelter in Salisbury.
The ban comes following the arrest of Frasier and Gordon when nearby Iredell County Animal Services brought charges against them for animal abandonment on December 19 stemming from a November incident where more than a dozen cats were left on the side of Short Dog Drive in Statesville. Frasier was charged and booked into the jail on $1,000 bond after being arrested by Salisbury Police Department officers. The Salisbury Post stated at least five of the cats were in Frasier’s possession before being abandoned.
Now for the battle: are Frasier and Gordon guilty? According to Frasier, she had only pulled the cats for another rescue to take possession of them and they were no longer in her care at the time they went missing. Frasier has been advised by her attorney not to speak on the matter. The court date is scheduled for February 1 and Jennifer says she has information that will clear her. One of her supporters (Cindy) says it best as follows:
“Since this trashing has started, we have not only lost Jen but many other rescuers. And why? Because of anonymous calls to the shelters and now they will not let ANYONE rescue. The good rescue world in NC has crumbled because of a few rubber necking gossiping trashing nosy people in Florida and California that get their rocks off on gossip. Not one of these people have ever made an effort to visit the adoption center. So now the cats wait for the dreaded day that they get the needle. Many already have and more will die tomorrow.”
Frasier herself stated in a blog comment
“First of all why would I believe it and care for leg amputation, eye removals, full vaccinations and spay/neuter if my intention was not to make sure that that animal got to a home or place where it can be properly cared for…why would I waste my time which usually added to about 16 hours a day back and forth to Concord and all over the state and others transporting cats, if I did not care about their well being???”
On the other hand, there are a lot of cat advocates who have been asking legitimate questions of where the cats she rescued ended up. A head count of all cats pulled over the past year are so have been requested and not provided. Advocates want to know where each cat ended up, what rescue a cat was passed off to and if a cat has died there should be vet receipts with information on what happened to the cat.
Unfortunately, Frasier recently reported a break-in at the adoption center in Salisbury, where none of the cats were harmed but records were stolen and the building vandalized (see photo above). Photos of the damage, as well as successful adoption stories, can be found on this Facebook page.
The issue of whether background checks needs addressing regarding rescues, since it’s been learned Frasier and Gordon both have criminal records. Manager Church, however, stated the criminal charges are only part of the reason for the ban. Church went on to add the shelter doesn’t conduct background checks on people adopting animals, but believes it may be a necessary policy change for rescues who pull from the shelter.
All we know to date is Salisbury PD Detective Benfield is assigned to the Breaking and Entering case. We also know Dr Norris, who is head of the NC Department of Agriculture Animal Welfare is heading up a related investigation. Iredell County Animal Control is also involved since the original complaints came out of their shelter.
This case should make for an interesting discussion. Those who support Frasier wonder how cat advocates can have her charged and convicted before she’s made even the first plea in court. Others worry about a fate worse than death to the cats she saved from death row. Regardless of how this case ends, it will be yet another blemish on cat rescues, who can’t fight lies and rumors yet don’t provide simple information on the cats they save.
Please feel free to comment on any of this. Just don’t spread rumors that can’t be proven at this time. We have to leave that for the courts to decide. It’s sad, but the Team Frasier supporters are right in assessing more cats will likely die without Frasier there to save them.
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